Good things take time, but when it comes to getting your license, you probably want to know exactly how much time it will take.
The unsatisfying answer to that question is: “It depends.” It could take as little as 60 days or more than a year, depending on how you choose to prioritize and organize. Let’s break down what the timeline can look like.
Before considering how long it will take to get your license, first make sure you meet the licensing eligibility requirements. Applicants need to:
Be at least 18 years old
Be a United States citizen or lawfully admitted alien
Prove to TREC that they are honest, trustworthy, and that they have integrity
Read more about TREC’s qualifications for honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity.
The 5 Things You Need to Get Your License
To get a real estate license, applicants need to:
Complete a TREC-approved real estate education course
File an application
Submit fingerprints and do a background check
Take the licensing exam
Find a sponsoring broker
Each of these items takes a different amount of time to complete depending on how fast the applicant is and how quickly TREC responds to the applicant’s submissions.
Real Estate Education
There are many TREC-approved real estate education providers but they all have the same components. Each provider’s curriculum must add up to 180 classroom hours. Those 180 hours are distributed over the following courses and topics:
Principles of Real Estate I: 30 classroom hours
Principles of Real Estate II: 30 classroom hours
Law of Agency: 30 classroom hours
Law of Contracts: 30 classroom hours
Promulgated Contract Forms: 30 classroom hours
Real Estate Finance: 30 classroom hours
If you sat down and did the course straight through, it would take you 180 hours. While that is possible, it’s not recommended. TREC usually doesn’t like it when an applicant completes all of the courses within two or three days.
We recommend completing the courses at least three days apart and giving yourself a minimum of about three weeks to complete all of them.
But you might have a full-time job, children to take to soccer practice, or other commitments. If that’s the case, go at a pace that works for you.
Time to Completion: At least 3 weeks
Filing Your Application
You can file your application with TREC either online or by mail. If you register online, you’ll need to create a username and password. Read more about submitting an online application.
Both online and paper applications charge a fee. Paper applications may take longer to process and they require an extra paper filing fee.
Application processing often takes 2 - 3 weeks. It’s a good idea to file your application early, even before you finish the course. Learn more about the application processing timeline and check out TREC’s current processing times. You can also track your application status.
Time to Completion: At least 3 weeks
Fingerprints and Background Check
Every sales agent needs to record their fingerprints with the Texas Department of Public Safety. If you’ve already submitted fingerprints for a TALCB or TREC license, you’re good to go! Skip this step.
Scheduling a fingerprinting appointment may take up to seven days, but you can probably expect to get an appointment within two or three days. There are no same-day appointments, so don’t wait too long. The processing will take around 10 days (but could take longer).
Background checks with take longer if TREC chooses to investigate something that surfaces during a background check. Read more about getting a license with a criminal record.
Time to Completion: About 17 days
The Licensing Exam
The exam itself will take a maximum of two and a half hours. You’ll want to schedule it in advance.
You have three opportunities to take the exam. If you plan to take the exam again, it may take 5-7 days to reschedule. Learn more about what happens if you don’t pass.
PearsonVUE, a testing service company, administers all exams to make sure they are all equal and impartial. PersaonVUE offers a free candidate handbook that goes over important application guidelines and study materials to help you pass the first time.
Time to Completion: 2.5 hours
How do you get a sponsoring broker? Reach out to a broker you identify with. Even if they can’t sponsor you, they might be able to give you some helpful tips. Learn more about finding the right sponsoring broker.
Start looking for a sponsoring broker sooner rather than later. Start asking around and researching brokerages before you even start the course.
Once you find your sponsor, you’ll need to fill out TREC’s sponsorship request to make it official. The broker will need to accept this request. Allow at least a week for the request to process.
After that, your license will be active! You’ll be a real-life license holder.
Time to Completion: At least 1 week
Real Estate License Timeline
If you’re in a hurry to get a license, plan accordingly:
Real Estate Education: At least 3 weeks
Filing Your Application: At least 3 weeks
Fingerprints and Background Check: About 17 days
Licensing Exam: 2.5 hours
Sponsoring Broker: At least 1 week
All of this adds up to about 66 days. But these are pretty aggressive dates, goals, and deadlines. Just because you can get your license this fast doesn’t mean you should or you need to. Get your license your way at a pace that works best for you.